Canine Breath Spray for those Three Dog Nights

Have you ever wondered where the expression, “three dog night,” came from?  I can tell you!  Its origins are attributed to Eskimos, Australian Aborigines, and Cowboys.  The meaning remains the same regardless of where it comes from.  Three dog night means a night it is so cold a person needs three dogs on the bed to keep warm.

Wyoming, and much of the United States, has been in the grips of below zero temperatures.  In our corner of the world we have been holding rather steady at -12º to -16º F at night and -10º to 3º F during the day.  In other words, three dog nights and days!

With the temperatures being so cold our three terriers (a Scottie, a Westie, and a Cairn) have been sleeping on the bed with us, so we truly do have three dog nights at our house!  All of this togetherness has made us painfully aware of canine halitosis, especially with Dinger, our Scottie.  Doggie bad breath is bad…really bad…especially when it wakes you up in the middle of the night…especially when it wakes you up in the middle of the night and it is freezing outside of the covers.

Our three terriers do get daily dental chews to help with tartar build up and promote oral health, but sometimes that isn’t enough.  When their breath needs a little help I use the following breath spray.

Canine Oral Spray

In a 2 ounce dark glass spray bottle mix the following ingredients:

1/4 teaspoon Vegetable Glycerin

1 ounce Spearmint (Mentha spicata) Hydrosol

1 ounce Distilled water

2 drops Grapefruit seed extract (GSE) not Grapefruit (Citrus paradisi) essential oil*

1 drop Myrrh (Commiphora myrrha) essential oil

1 drop Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) essential oil

2 drops Spearmint (Mentha spicata) essential oil

 

*Grapefruit seed extract is used as a preservative, but it also has excellent antibacterial properties that help combat the germs/bacteria that lead to bad breath.

 

Shake the bottle vigorously before each use.  Open dog’s mouth or pull lips apart near the back molars and spray once on each side of the mouth.  Spray up to four times daily.  I have found that spraying once daily, every day, does the trick.

 

Essential oil guide lines: Using essential oil remedies with dogs is very similar to using them with very small children (infants and toddlers).  With children and dogs I will always use the most gentle of essential oils in the smallest dilutions to be effective.  A dilution 25% or ¼ of what is recommended for an adult is typically used for small children and canines.  DO NOT use essential oils on puppies younger than ten weeks of age.  Additionally, we have to remember that a canine’s sense of smell is 1,000 to 10,000 times more sensitive than a human’s.  Given that a dog’s sense of smell is much more efficient than a human’s, what may smell nice for us may be overwhelming and over-powering to a dog.

I hope you don’t have too many three dog nights, and if you do, that your dogs have fresh minty breath!

✿´´¯`•.¸¸ Haly JensenHof, MA, RA ¸¸.•´¯`´✿

Fragrantly helping you achieve health and well being!

For more information, or if you have questions, please contact me at yourhealthscents@gmail.com.  I welcome any questions, comments or suggestions.

You can also find me on Facebook at facebook.com/yourhealthscents

Tick & Flea Repellant made with Essential Oils

Aromatherapy has gone to the dogs!  Did you know that you can use essential oils with your dogs for several common issues, such as; tick and flea repellant, fear, nervousness, separation anxiety, oral hygiene, skin conditions, and first aid?

We just returned from another trip to the mountains.  I, my husband, and our three terriers spent a wonderful week relaxing and frolicking in the Black Hills of South Dakota.  It was wonderful!  Our three little fur-kin terrorists; aka Dinger Zen Master (Scottish terrier), Miss Maizie Sweet (West Highland White terrier), and Bailey Arnchu Naughty (Cairn terrier) loved the chance to get out and explore new territory.   However, with exploration, especially in the woods, comes the chance to pick up ticks and fleas.

Just as I don’t like using synthetic chemicals on my body I don’t like using synthetic, and potentially harmful, chemicals on my fur-kins.  Have you read the labels on commercial flea and tick repellants/killers?  Better yet, have you read the possible side-effects of using these products?  One label I read had the following warnings; Harmful if inhaled. Avoid breathing vapors. Causes eye irritation. Avoid contact with eyes and clothing. Wear protective rubber gloves when applying this product.  Wash thoroughly with soap and water after use and before eating, drinking, chewing gum, using tobacco or using the toilet.  Prolonged or frequent skin contact may cause allergic reactions in some people.  These were just the warnings for humans!  There were no warnings for what the product could do to my dogs, but if the product had those type of warnings on it for me, I surely am not going to use it on my fur-kins!

Using essential oil remedies with dogs is very similar to using them with very small children (infants and toddlers).  With children and dogs I will always use the most gentle of essential oils in the smallest dilutions to be effective.  A dilution 25% or ¼ of what is recommended for an adult is typically used for small children and canines.  DO NOT use essential oils on puppies younger than ten weeks of age.  Additionally, we have to remember that a canine’s sense of smell is 1,000 to 10,000 times more sensitive than a human’s.  Given that a dog’s sense of smell is much more efficient than a human’s, what may smell nice for us may be overwhelming and over-powering to a dog.

The following tick and flea blends come from the book, Holistic Aromatherapy for Animals by Kristen Leigh Bell[1].

Flea-Free Essential Oil Blend – In a 15 ml. dark glass bottle add the following:

15 ml. base oil – hazelnut (Corylus avellana) or sweet almond (Prunus dulcis)

4 drops Clary sage (Salvia sclarea) essential oil

1 drop Citronella (Cymbopogon nardus) essential oil

7 drops Peppermint (Mentha piperita) essential oil

3 drops Lemon (Citrus limon) essential oil

Apply 2-4 drops topically to the neck, chest, legs, and tail base of the dog.  You can also add the drops to a bandanna or cloth collar.

 

Goodbye Tick Essential Oil Blend – In a 15 ml. dark glass bottle add the following:

15 ml. base oil – hazelnut (Corylus avellana) or sweet almond (Prunus dulcis)

2 drops Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens) essential oil

2 drops Rosewood (Aniba roseodora) essential oil*

3 drops Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) essential oil

2 drops Myrrh (Commiphora myrrha) essential oil

2 drops Opoponax (Commiphora erythraea) essential oil

1 drop Bay Leaf (Pimneto racemosa) essential oil

Apply 2-4 drops topically to the neck, chest, legs, and tail base of the dog.  You can also add the drops to a bandanna or cloth collar.

Ms. Bell states, “If you find that you need to repel both fleas and ticks, then I suggest that you apply one blend in the morning and one in the afternoon, as this practice avoids over-application.”

We used the above blends on our three terriers while we were in the Black Hills and we did not find one tick or flea on any of them!  We applied the tick blend in the morning and the flea blend in the evening.  Our three fur-kins loved the extra bonding/loving time and they seemed to enjoy the aroma of their blends too.

Here is to your dog’s good health!

*Many people will not use rosewood essential oil because the harvesting of the tree denudes

 

[1] Bell, Kristen Leigh; Holistic Aromatherapy for Animals; Findhorn Press; Scotland, UK; 2002